Let us listen to Jesus’ command. “Be opened!”
Let’s get right to it! Today we begin by listening to the prophet Isaiah, although his words of transformation, restoration and healing sound very much like the prophesies of the Exile, it is actually pre Babylonian Exile.
“ Say to those whose hearts are frightened:
Be strong, fear not!
Here is your God, he comes with vindication;”
Yet He speaks to the healing of the dumb and deaf. This prophesy not only speaks to the post exile to come, but it also points to Jesus’ healing of the deaf mute. And the desert in Isaiah that is to be transformed represents the Gentiles, those who do not know the true God, but will be restored and healed to hear and speak of God’s faithfulness extended to those who did not know him, but will know Him through His only Son Jesus Christ
As I listen to sacred scriptures this week I look to my life and wonder, how do I fail to hear and speak in a way that reflects God working in my life? What is impeding me from God working through me? How do I fail to hear, understand and speak with God’s ability over my life? There is an impediment to all of our ability to speak and hear as God desires. We are blocked but God is ready and able to remove our impediment and open us to His ability.
Our subject for reflection is “Ephphatha!” “Be opened!”. Being closed prevents us from hearing and speaking God’s word, His will, His way, and the truth of His Action in our lives and in our world. This call to be open is for each and everyone of us. We all have some impediment to God working through us. Allow the Lord to touch and speak His healing on us that we might be opened to hearing and proclaiming His power in our lives.
We find Jesus in that desert, those 10 cities the “district of the Decapolis”. This land of the gentiles to be transformed by Jesus removing the impediment to a man who cannot speak nor hear. The people bring, or present the deaf and mute to Jesus then Watch Jesus, first He pulls him aside, the He touches him and using His own spittle He opens the man’s ears to hear and his tongue to speak. He commands him to be open! Immediately he is restored, made whole.
“He put his finger into the man’s ears
and, spitting, touched his tongue;
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
“Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” —
And immediately the man’s ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly.
Spiritually we too can impeded, blocked incapable of hearing and speaking properly. What needs to change in us? What is that we need Christ to pull us aside, touch us and transform us? Our system or way of thinking, speaking and hearing are messed up, we need to be transformed or changed. We need Jesus to touch us, speak to us and place His DNA (the spittle) on us that we might be opened, to speak, hear, and understand differently.
Look at 1 Corinthians 13:11.
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
Just as in the Gospel something has to change. Our speech, hearing and understanding, our thought process is off. We need to stop trying to operate out of an impeded broken speech and hearing. Paul says “when I was a child”. When we are children it is normal to operate, think, speak and hear as children do. A child’s mind, ways and actions are incomplete and uninformed and lack maturity. This is normal for a child. To speak and hear, thus providing understanding, something needs to change.
We are impeded, blocked and deaf to hearing and understanding because maybe we are still operating out of a childish or childlike mind set or system. The know it all, “ why should I listen to him or her, I know already”. or “You can’t tell me nothing I already know.” I don’t need nobody telling me nothing” The attitude, the disposition is childish and child like, it lacks an openness to hearing and learning something new. They got it all figured out! Sound like a childlike attitude doesn’t it?
The problem to our growth, our prosperity our claiming and walking in the blessing and anointing God has for us is because we are blocked, our system is broken we are still acting like a child. Our ears are shut off and we don’t hear, understand nor speak in the way that God intends us too.
What changed for Paul? he says “I became a man”. He grew up, the physical act of growing up with its experiences, new understanding, knowledge and learning allows Him to put the childish ways behind and “Be opened”. His becoming a man, His maturing removed his impediment and he walked into the blessing, anointing, ability and new life that God had for him. Like the deaf mute, Paul is opened when Jesus encounters and transforms his life. New speech, hearing and understanding causes Paul to change.
To often we revert back to our childish ways. Or we are afraid of confronting challenges, the growing hurts to much and we prefer to go back to our previous childlike state. We can’t “become a man” because we cling on to that old self, that old stuff, the child in us. We do it because we know it, it is familiar and comfortable. Even though it’s holding you back, even if it’s self destructive we go back to what was before and desire to stay there.
Jesus needs us to grow up, to step up, and allow Him to bring about our spiritual growth and touch our tongue and ears and be “Open.” When our ears are opened and our tongue is loosened to operate as God intends then we can walk into what God has for us. You will be confident not arrogant, you will posses knowledge but understand that you don’t know it all. That new position, that promotion, that new career will open up to you because your are spiritual Opened, you’ve grown up and operate in an adult, spiritually mature system, a life with impediments being removed, and becoming free. You see when you’re Opened, matured, unobstructed a spiritual man or women, not afraid to step into the future. Put your childish ways behind. Then you and I become God’s instruments listening to Him and speaking His word.